Our Newsletter Editor, Paul Walden, is taking on other responsibilities and we are in need of an editor. The online blog is fairly easy to master, it uses Weebly, a very user friendly host.
As editor of the Virginia Dispatches you would become more aware of chapter activities around the Commonwealth and gain an understanding of the workings of the Virginia SAR.
If you are interested, please contact Bill Schwetke to discuss the position.
On 16 January 2021, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution sponsored a commemoration of the Battle of Cowpens and Mt Hebron Cemetery in Winchester. This was a hybrid event conducted both on site and virtually. The Battle of Cowpens became the turning point in the southern campaign during the Revolutionary War. Up to the fall of 1780, the British under General Charles Cornwallis had been running over the colonial militias with relative ease in the southern campaign. In October, General Nathanael Greene was given command of the Southern Department of the Continental forces. He had determined that he was not ready to meet Cornwallis head on at this time and made the decision to divide his Army. He gave General Daniel Morgan command of a wing that was sent west to raise morale and find supplies for the Army. Soon after, the British felt this Army was a threat to their flank and General Cornwallis ordered cavalry Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to the west to find and destroy Morgan's fighting force. Morgan went north to avoid being trapped between Tarleton and Cornwallis. When he reached the Broad River and found it was at flood level, he decided to stand and fight. Tarleton had pushed his troops hard to catch his foe. Morgan was aware of Tarleton's mode of attack, knowing he would be aggressive with a headlong assault and developed tactics that are still taught at West Point today. His plan was to conduct a double envelopment of Tarleton's forces. His Army included 600 Continental and State Soldiers and roughly 1300 militiamen aligned against a force of 1,150 British. He knew many of his militiamen were not experienced fighters. The night of 16 January he went among his men and spoke with them on a personal level, encouraging them to do their best. The battle order was "No burning, no flying: but face about and give battle to the enemy & acquit ourselves like men in defense of their baggage, their lives and the interest of the Country". He deployed his Army in three main lines. The first was comprised of 150 sharpshooters and the second of militia men. He asked that they fire 2 rounds and then retreat to the left side of the formation. Tarleton roused his men at 2:00 a.m. on 17 January for a 12 mile march in difficult marching conditions. The British Army was exhausted after running out of food and having only four hours of sleep when asked to attack in damp, cold weather. When Tarleton saw the colonials retreating, he felt the field was his and encouraged his troops to charge ahead. Seeing the retreating Americans, the British charged aggressively into the third line of continentals and experienced militia who held their ground. Morgan's Army went on the offensive. The Continentals in the center, mounted a bayonet charge. Tarleton's force, faced with a terrible surprise, began to collapse; some men surrendering on the spot, while others turned and ran. The American cavalry came around from behind the American left to hit the British on their right flank and rear. The militia, having now reorganized, charged out from behind the hill to the British left flank. Morgan's Army took 712 prisoners and effected 110 casualties. Tarleton's elite fighting unit was wiped out as a fighting force. Of note, fighting in the battle were several units from Virginia, including a company of Continentals, a detachment of Virginia State Troops and four militia companies. After the battle, Morgan sent the Virginia Militia home but used them as guards escorting the prisoners who were marched to Winchester prison camps. This victory is known as the turning point of the war in the South, which lead to the American victory at Yorktown in October of 1781. The commemoration ceremony was conducted at Mt Hebron with Chip Daniel conducting the onsite ceremony. This included a combined Color Guard from three SAR Chapters. Included were Virginia SAR 1st Vice President Jeff Thomas, Colonel James Wood II compatriots David Carpenter, Sean Carrigan, Paul Christensen, Brett Osborn, Eric Robinson and Jim Simmons. Participating from the Fairfax Resolves Chapter were Ken Bonner and Dave Cook with Pat Kelly from the Thomas Jefferson Chapter. Marc Robinson of the Colonel James Wood II Chapter conducted the on line event which was attended by Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke and representatives from Virginia, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia Societies with 14 SAR Chapters and three DAR Chapters. Photos are courtesy of Anita Bonner. The first picture is of the onsite wreath presentation l. to r. Jim Simmons, Eric Robinson, Chip Daniel, Jeff Thomas and Dave Cook. The second picture is the musket squad l. to r. Brett Osborn, Paul Christensen, Ken Bonner, Sean Carrigan, Pat Kelly, Dave Cook and Eric Robinson. The third picture is a group photo l. to r. Brett Osborn, Eric Robinson, Jim Simmons, Chip Daniel, Dave Cook, Sean Carrigan, Ken Bonner, Jeff Thomas, Paul Christensen and Pat Kelly.
Submitted by Dale Corey
01 Jan 2021 Fauquier County, VA
The Virginia Society made an early start to Flag Certificate presentations for 2021 with a presentation this morning to Jerry & Linda Kerns of Fauquier County. The flag pole in front of their house is the pride and joy of Linda Kerns, who is the daughter of a career Army officer. The flag pole is extendable, well lit at night, and Jerry keeps the tree limbs that reach out for the flag well trimmed.
All 28 chapters of the Virginia SAR presented flag certificates in 2020 and we are on our way to a similar accomplishment this year. Congratulations to each chapter, and a special thanks to our hard working Flag Recognition Committee Chairman, Ken Morris.
On 30 December 2020, the Richard Henry Lee (RHL) Chapter of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) presented a Flag Certificate of Commendation to the Boat Club in White Stone.
In the COVID restricted ceremony, Paul Carlson of Reedville, RHL’s Flag Committee Chairman, presented the Certificate. Also representing RHL, at the presentation, was Rick Frisby of Weems and Jim Russell Jr. of Heathsville, respectively President and First-Vice President of RHL.
Receiving the Certificate was Boat Club President, William Powell, with Club members Fletcher Brown, James Loving and Todd Dabney in attendance.
The Certificate is authorized by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) and may be made to individuals and organizations that properly display the American Flag, says Chairman Carlson.
RHL encourages all citizens to show their patriotism by flying an American Flag outside their home especially on Flag Day. In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. If you have questions about how to display the American Flag, please contact Paul Carlson (email@example.com) or Rick Frisbie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
RHL shares with the community that it is hoped that 2021 will be better year than 2020. RHL usually has eight membership meetings in a year, but they only had one in 2020.
The next planned membership meeting of RHL (COVID permitting) will be on March 16 at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club. The guest speaker will be Peter Jennings Wrike. Mr. Wrike is a celebrated author and speaker about the Revolutionary War. He will speak on spousal support during the War, generally, and, in particular, the support rendered by Martha Dandridge Washington and Martha Wayles Jefferson. Cobb’s Hall Daughters of the American Revolution has been invited to join RHL at this meeting, says President Frisbie.
If you have an interest in joining RHL and believe you can establish a direct line to a patriot who served in the Continental Army, State Militia, or performed some service that aided the war effort, please contact Rick Frisbie (contact info above) or the RHL registrar, Wally Dawson (email@example.com). Come join us and listen to interesting lectures about our heritage and help us with our youth programs, recognizing local citizens and participating in some planned field trips.
Submitted by Don Smith
The Colonel James Wood II Chapter participated in a Virtual Presentation of the Commemoration of the Battle of Trenton that was held on 26 December 2020. This event was sponsored by the Princeton Cranbury Chapter of the New Jersey Society SAR. Jack Manning, President General participated as did twenty State Societies for the commemoration. Present for the Virginia Society were Virginia State President Bill Schwetke and First Vice President Jeff Thomas who represented the Fairfax Resolves Chapter. Charles Jameson, was present for the Culpeper Minutemen. Participating for the Colonel James Wood II Chapter were Paul Christensen, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Brett Osborn, Clay Robinson and Marc Robinson. There will be a follow up virtual presentation for the Battle of Princeton on 3 January 2021.
Submitted by Dale Corey
09 Dec 2020 Culpeper, VA
At daybreak on December 9th, 1775 the British attacked the Virginians, including the Culpeper Minute Battalion, blocking their access to the main road from Norfolk to North Carolina at the south end of the Great Bridge. The British were decisively defeated and soon would abandon Norfolk. This morning, as the day broke, representatives from the Virginia SAR and five chapters marked that event at the Culpeper Minute Battalion Monument in Yowell Meadow Park in Culpeper. Participating were Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke and members of the Colonel James Wood II, Colonel William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, George Mason, and Thomas Nelson, Jr Chapters. The Culpeper Minutemen organized the ceremony which included wreath presentations and musket volleys.
The temperature at daybreak in Culpeper was 25˚ making it a very brisk morning. Most of the attendees joined for breakfast, fellowship and warmth, at the Frost Cafe after the ceremony.,
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06 Dec 2020 Virginia Beach, VA
On Sunday evening the Honor & Remember, Inc. hosted Gold Star Families for a Gold Star Family Evening. This annual event honors the families of America's fallen heroes. Founder George Lutz's son was killed in Iraq in 2005. In reaction to the pain that his family felt, George Lutz as dedicated his time and resources in many different ways to ease the pain of other Gold Star Families. For the past seven years the Virginia SAR has provided the Color Guard for the opening ceremonies. Chris Melhuish of the Norfolk Chapter has led the effort to support this event.
The pandemic made this Gold Star Family Evening more challenging, but Mr. Lutz was up to the challenge. Families were grouped in separate rooms so that no one room had more than 25 people inside. The program centered on one room and was presented on large screens in every room. The pandemic did not stop Honor and Remember from providing Christmas cheer and a special evening to Gold Star Families.
05 Dec 2020 Brandy Station, VA
The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Commemorative Air Force in thanks for their support with a flyover of World War II aircraft during the dedication ceremony for the Culpeper Minute Battalion Memorial in Culpeper on Oct 24th. Leading the Culpeper Minutemen to this presentation was President Charles Jameson and he was accompanied by Michael Dennis, Tom Hamill, and Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke.
Submitted by Barry Schwoerer, Col. Wm. Grayson Chapter